From its worstever IPL season in 2020, M. S. Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings has made a remarkable turnaround and was second in the points table at the halfway stage this season. It also had the best Net Run (+1.263) among the top four teams when the league was suspended in May. Flexibility was the hallmark of the Super Kings’ campaign earlier this year. Here’s how they stack up ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021.
Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is available for the UAE leg of the IPL after having withdrawn earlier in order to stay in shape for the upcoming international calendar. Suresh Raina, too, has returned to the setup after pulling out of the last season. However, lack of game time for its big players might be a concern for CSK. Both Raina and skipper Dhoni — and even Ambati Rayudu — haven’t played any cricket since the last IPL. Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali — all part of the England vs India Test series — and Faf du Plessis, who played in CPL 2021, will be expected to carry the Super Kings’ batting in the UAE.
Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad made two ﬁfties in seven innings in the ﬁrst half. He will be another batsman to watch. In July this year, Deepak Chahar’s unbeaten 69 oﬀ 82 led India to victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka. Chahar will lend batting depth, while his progression from a powerplay specialist to a bowler who can operate at every stage will hold CSK’s attack in good stead. It will also rely on Curran, with Moeen and Jadeja being the two spin options.